The Resurrection Of The Sirens! As this month’s column opens, I can’t help but to reflect back on some of the ‘truths’ that ‘experts’ have thrown at men over the years: *Men WERE the enemy in public education: NOW we are welcomed because some female teachers can’t handle disciplinary problems. A male teacher doesn’t negotiate with unruly students--he TERMINATES. *Eggs WERE bad for you; NOW they are good for you! *Two-parent homes WERE bad for children; NOW they are the best role models for young people to learn about responsibility, staying away from drugs, and the need for hard work. *Public education WAS the pits; NOW it’s a great choice in a tight economy. *Dress Down Days at the office WERE the bomb; NOW just having a job to go to is the bomb! *Marriage WAS laughed at; NOW, even die-hard feminists, marginal singers and former lesbians are showing up with MEN, looking for a church, preacher, and a hail of rice! *Church WAS seen as ‘evil’; NOW even the government wants the church to pray for America! *Corporal Punishment WAS replaced with Ritalin in the schools; NOW we find out we don’t have enough money, to buy enough Ritalin, so it’s OK to spank your OWN kids, once again. *Women WERE encouraged to ignore their husbands, drop their kids off at daycare, and head off into the workplace to FIND themselves; NOW more women are dropping dead from heart attacks, strokes; suffering ulcers, alcoholism, drug addiction, divorces, and child support payments, (not to mention the assorted male and female perverts at daycare centers) being a housewife and mother are regaining their esteem. *Condoms and birth control WERE the cornerstones to ‘Safe Sex’; NOW we are told--albeit reluctantly--that the ‘Safest Sex’ is with your OWN husband, or wife. * Lastly, young adults WERE so sure that they understood life; NOW we’re being told that those from 20 to 25 are having their own ‘quarter-life’ crises and psychoses because THEY have to get a J-O-B. YOU CAN BE A MAN OF QUALITY WITHOUT EXPERTS! Brothers, I learned a long time ago that an expert is someone who may have a great publicity machine, but may not have that much in the way of truth and common-sense! While the impact of an expert is measured in direct proportion to how many books, videos, and seminar seats they can sell, the ACTUAL worth of an expert comes when he/she has to get home and try his/her theories out on their OWN families! We never get to see how well, or how poorly THEIR homes run. Think on this the next time you see Oprah, Montel, Rikki, or Jerry on TV! On the ship of manhood, out on the seas of real life, there are going to be folks who will tell you to steer your ship ‘over here’, or ‘over there’, just to get you to buy their ‘stuff’. However, they won’t be around to help you, if you crash on the rocks. They want your money, not your success. Just because someone has a TV show, is singing a nice tune and may be dressed to the nines and dripping with diamonds does NOT mean they have your best interests at heart. Kind of like the Sirens of old. A QUICK LESSON IN MYTHOLOGY: Who? I’ll be more than happy to explain. In mythology, a story is told of a group of women known as the ‘Sirens’. They lived on an island, and from all appearances, didn’t work. Their island was located right in the middle of a prime commercial maritime traffic zone. Ships would pass by all the time. However, due to the sharp, well-hidden reefs around the island, if one didn’t know where they were sailing, they could easily wind up destroyed. How could these lovely ladies survive without working? By getting someone else to support them. You may ask: Well, how could they manage this? By the simple art of--singing! The Sirens’ special skill was to sing such a beautiful song that the passing mariners of old would drive their ships towards their singing, and destroy themselves--and their ships--on the sharp rocks that surrounded their island. Then, the ladies would stop singing, and sort through the wreckage to find whatever they needed to sustain themselves. No taxes. No muss. No fuss. No men. And, few--if any--witnesses. Kind of like the ‘I can do better by myself’ syndrome, at the next level. One brave brother, a captain of skill and solid reputation had heard of the Sirens, and knew well of their destructive capabilities. He knew that he had to get past this maritime menace, so he made advance preparations for success. The captain told his crew, first, that a signal would be given for them to stuff their ears full of wax, and focus on getting the ship past the Sirens’ shoreline. Secondly, the captain ordered himself lashed to the mast, so he could hear the Sirens, and warn future captains as to what he had heard. As the ship approached the island area, the signal was given to the crew by the captain. Brothers, stuff your ears--and focus on the task at hand! Then, the singing began. The captain begged his crew to turn towards the song. The crew could not hear, and focused on getting past the Sirens song. He begged. He shouted. He threatened. But the brotherhood rowed on! Once they passed the danger zone, the crew unstopped their ears and cut the captain loose. His preparation had not only saved his own life, and the lives of his crew, but lived to warn others about the danger. Brothers, I’ll make it plain. (And, to you sisters who read my column, this part is for you too). Sometimes, one must just KEEP on rowing, no matter the cheers or jeers. Safe Harbor is always ahead of you; NOT behind you! THE GLOOMY HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING: Brothers, there are other kinds of Sirens out in our society. Not all of them are women. Their songs of doom and gloom are soothing to listen to, and keep you trapped on the outskirts of success. There are experts, talk show hosts, newspaper columnists, and government officials who live on seeing people’s lives destroyed with questionable advice. They coo: “It’s rough to get your education.” Their kids are at Yale, Oxford, or Fisk. They sing sweetly: “You’ll always be this way.” They have a medicine cabinet full of the latest ‘party’ drugs. They strum their harps of depression and softly say: “You have a right to be bitter against (fill in the blank) for not getting that (fill in the blank).” They are about to head to court for their third, fourth, or fifth divorce--IF they ever got married in the first place. Resist their songs and tales of woe. Nothing in life comes without WORK. Whether it be a relationship, a career, a relationship, a job, or a home. You HAVE to work, work, and work some more! The only place success appears before work is in the dictionary! There are businesses out there waiting for you to start them. There are quality women out there, waiting for a quality man to find them. There are inventions out there, undiscovered, waiting for you to discover them. Now is not the time to ‘Tap Out’ on life. Now is the time to climb back into the ring, and try it once again. Yes, you may have failed, the first ten, twenty, or thirty times you have tried. But it only takes one more attempt to become a legend. Mike Ramey is the author of ‘The Manhood Line’, a monthly, syndicated column for men, written from a biblical, business, and common-sense perspective. To correspond, email to: [email protected]. (C) 2001 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications (29).